Fixing a backed up sink yourself has two big advantages: You save time, and you save money. After all, who has the leisure - or the inclination - to wait all day for an expensive repair person to stop by?
When sinks in the kitchen or bathroom back up, pouring liberal doses of boiling water down the drain will often melt clogs away.
If the hot water drain trick doesn't work, you can probably fix a backed up sink yourself with these tried-and-true methods.
Plumbing problems often happen at the strainer area of the sink and are easily fixed by removing the strainer or stopper and cleaning it. Here's how to do this yourself:
Sure, you put it there for the toilet, but many plungers can also unclog a sink nicely, too. Here's how to utilize the plunger to unclog a backed up sink: On tub and bathroom sink drains, you need to cover the overflow valve near the rim. Hold a slightly damp cloth over the overflow valve.
As you gently push the plunger down over the drain opening, perform three or four swifts pumps. Then pause to see if the sink drains. If it doesn't, try again.
Here's how to utilize the plunger and petroleum jelly to unclog your sink:
As a last resort before calling that busy plumber, pour in one of your favorite liquid drain cleaners. These chemical cleaners can usually burn through all but the toughest of clogs quickly. Be sure to follow the label's directions carefully.
If the drain cleaner and several short sessions with the plunger won't dislodge the blockage - or if you've noticed that several of your home's other drains are also draining sluggishly - the problem is likely to be deep inside your main house drain and well out of your reach.
It's now time to call that busy plumber. Your work here is done.